Kenya, a country of contrasts, greets Jambo Bwana
Within the list of countries that usually target young volunteers, Kenya can become a goal to work in any of the areas which receive 56% of their population affected by poverty. Noted for the possibility of developing cooperation and volunteer work while residing in a country considered the financial center of East Africa, which makes the quality of life and the possibility of finding training and employment options. Saying Kenya is to bring to mind images like Kilimanjaro, the Maasai, Lake Victoria safaris and a capital city like Nairobi with more than three million inhabitants, which contains many contrasts of one of the most developed cities in Africa, but also one of the highest rates of HIV in the world in Kibera neighborhood. If you decide to travel to Kenya, you should always be very mindful of a series of warnings, criteria and recommendations, we will try resume in this article.
One of the greater evolution African countries have had in recent decades is Kenya, a country with 43.1 million citizens, it is identified as a financial center in East Africa. The cultural and ethnic diversity is one of its signs, due to its 42 official ethnic groups who communicate in English and Swahili, the two main languages, and a multitude of dialects, producing such mixture to which is attached the different religions Kenyans profess residents in some of its seven provinces. The situation of more than 50% of the population is defined as no regular income or without stable employment, which together with different climatic elements, cultural, demographic and political, have caused that Kenya continue to need humanitarian intervention in some of its regions. Spanish Cooperation Agency AECID places it as one of the priority countries.
After completing these prerequisites, you are ready to begin your adventure in Kenya. Surely your decision to travel to the African country has been based on need and conviction to exercise volunteer work and cooperation. The volume of direct national cooperation is not very big and is performed by indirect cooperation through NGOs and through decentralized cooperation. As in any other country to which a volunteer travel, always have to meet certain safety and security measures that you should not forget in Kenya, which suffers a high level of organized crime and has some areas (Northeast province and frontier with Somalia, South Sudan and Ethiopia, the archipelago of Lamu, Mount Elgon and slums of the Kenyan cities) that the Spanish Government does not recommend travel. It is true that the work of a volunteer is to work in deprived and excluded areas, but this does not mean you stop extreme caution and ensure your protection during your stay in the country, something to get traveling in groups and to people must know about the environments you visit. Find out in Spain of the organizations working on the ground and how to participate in their actions and make all the arrangements with these associations in Spain before leaving for Kenya. Improvisation and the absence of a clear destination is not an appropriate premise if you go to work in the country in development cooperation work. The main areas of cooperation that takes place in Kenya focus on children, women, the environment, equal opportunities, or health.
In summary, your stay in Kenya can become a very successful trip if you make one with previous programming time, carry out all the necessary formalities, and you meet all the recommendations you provide administrations and organizations used to working in the country.
Arrival in Kenya
Voluntary work and cooperation in Kenya
Written by Eurodesk Qualified Multiplier, Instituto de la Juventud de Extremadura